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Halloween on Maui will be a little bit different this year

No Front Street closure but other events for youths, adults are planned

Lokelani Intermediate School 6th-grader Dayven Agunoy, 11, adjusts the family’s Halloween skeletons and ghouls Friday morning in Kihei. “My favorite part of Halloween is putting up the decorations,” Agunoy said. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Halloween day and night in Maui County will be without the typical neighborhood trick or treats, themed street parties and haunted house events this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But families, businesses and organizations from every corner of the Valley Isle are adjusting how they will celebrate to meet health and safety protocols, including making changes to the iconic Lahaina Halloween on Front Street.

“While Halloween celebrations will look different this year due to COVID-19 precautions, we encourage parents and residents to get creative with fun alternative activities that everyone can enjoy,” Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said in a news release Friday. “Don’t forget to wear your mask, maintain physical distancing and avoid any large parties. We also remind everyone to not drink and drive and to stay safe during this holiday weekend.”

Parents should inspect their children’s candy and are encouraged to talk with their children about safety and physical distancing guidelines.

County officials also are working out details to host a Halloween drive-thru parade in Wailuku and Lahaina as an alternative to street parties that draw large crowds. An announcement with final decisions will be made in the coming days.

On the west side, the LahainaTown Action Committee announced that the annual Front Street Halloween party that attracts upwards of 20,000 people every year has been canceled.

“Because of safety and concerns over bringing large groups of people together, we are not able to finalize a plan for Front Street, but with that said, we have been working with the county to provide an option for the keiki,” LAC President Sne Patel said Thursday. “There will be an option for the keiki to have a Halloween experience, it will be safe, and it will be something they will enjoy.”

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by keeping social gatherings small, Patel said LAC is trying to host a drive-thru event instead.

“Everyone understands that because of the safety protocols that are in place, we hopefully can enjoy our normal activity next year,” he said. “Naturally, people will come down to Front Street, not to the level they have in the past just because we still need to make sure our community is safe.

“We do encourage those to practice the guidelines that are currently in place, and that’s our stance on it.”

While there is no planned Halloween extravaganza with Front Street closed to traffic, Patel said the stores and restaurants along the historic thoroughfare still are getting festive, especially with Halloween falling on a Saturday.

At Down The Hatch and Mala Ocean Tavern, there will be live music, cocktails, contests and Halloween surprises. Social distancing and masks are required, but the face coverings are encouraged to be Halloween-themed or spooky.

Starting at 10 p.m. on Halloween night, Mala is hosting an Alco-Traz event with DJ Eliza. The $25 admission fee includes light apps and one cocktail. Costumes are required.

County officials offered ideas Friday for a safe Halloween, including making “Boo Bags” by filling a bag with fun treats and delivering them to the doorsteps of family and friends or having a haunted house scavenger hunt at home. Families can create different themed rooms and send close friends and family members in groups of 10 or less on a scavenger hunt to find candy, toys and prizes.

Other ideas include Halloween pinatas and candy stations, scary movie nights, virtual parties and online game nights, costume contests at home or work, and pumpkin carving and face mask decorating.

The Haiku Elementary School community typically hosts an annual Trunk o’ Treat for the kids, but the PTA created a “Boo Thru” event instead to meet health and safety protocols.

A Halloween-themed parade is slated for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 24. Participants will meet and begin at 105 Pauwela Road for a drive-thru parade and are encouraged to decorate their cars and dress up in their best Halloween costumes for a safe and socially distant festivity.

According to a news release, cars will travel up to Giggle Hill park, turn around and head back to the Haiku Post Office intersection, traveling on Haiku Road. They will head to Pauwela Cannery, then to Ulumalu Road and down to the Jaws Country Store, before heading back to the elementary school along Hana Highway.

Jaws Country Store has agreed to allow roadside parking along the highway for the community to view the parade. Residents on the route are encouraged to decorate their houses, dress up and wave as the parade passes.

Several families will be hosting small block parties or viewing areas.

More information can be found at haikuschoolriders.org on the PTA page, by emailing haikuschoolpta@gmail.com or texting 385-3176.

Upcountry, children and parents can join the Seabury Hall-Oween, a family-friendly drive-thru event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 30 by entering through the Olinda Road parking lot and exiting on Meha Street.

Vehicles will proceed slowly through campus and pass by the “Haunted” Cooper House while being entertained by “wild googly-eyed minions and a coven of spell-chanting witches, be entertained by the talented Thriller Dancers and the chilling sounds of a frightful collection of drummers,” according to the school’s Facebook page.

The Seabury students who signed up to entertain at the event “are very excited” to dress up and decorate the campus for Maui County children, director of advancement Kaimana Brummel said Thursday.

The engineering class has built a candy delivery chute to disperse small bags of Halloween treats. Upon arrival, children in cars will receive a Halloween map that reflects the drive-thru route and crayons to draw with.

“Things are not normal this year, but we wanted to figure out a way to serve the wider community and still give the kids a Halloween experience,” Brummel said.

Cars will be spaced out, and the entertainers will be socially distant, wearing face masks and gathering in groups of 10 or less.

The event is free, but cash or food donations for the Maui Food Bank are encouraged.

In East Maui, Project Ho’omana is planning a socially distant drive-thru trick-or-treat event and costume contest at Hana Cultural Center.

Similar to food distributions, the Drive-thru Halloween Treat Bag Distribution will involve cars pulling up to the designated area from 1 to 3 p.m. with no one allowed to exit their vehicles. Volunteers will pass out the treat bags while wearing proper protective gear to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Project Ho’omana, which is operated by two Hana High School students, is seeking to make 1,000 treat bags with community donations in the form of candy, snacks, stickers or toys. Larger items, such as toys, games or gift cards can be donated for costume contest prizes.

For those participating in the virtual costume contest, photo entries can be submitted via text or email by 9 p.m. Oct. 29 to Leinaala Perry. The contest is open to all Hana children who are in the 5th grade or below. One photo entry per child is allowed.

The categories include best superhero costume, face paint, homemade costume, traditional, prince/princess or the scariest. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on Halloween.

Organizers said the drive-thru event currently is set for the cultural center, but they are requesting approval for the use of another site where drive-thru COVID-19 testing has been previously conducted.

For more information, to submit costume entries or to drop off donated items, contact Perry by phone at 214-0362 or by email at hanaleinaala@yahoo.com.

Other events in Maui County include the reopening of Maui Sweet Shoppe in Kihei on Friday. The store launched a Halloween Scavenger Hunt Contest which will run through Halloween day. From 1 to 8 p.m. daily, children and their families can stop by the dessert shop to pick up a free scavenger hunt card, with submissions due by Oct. 31 for a chance to win a $20 gift card. Winners will be announced Nov. 2.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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